Saint Kitts and Nevis are two much sought-after twin islands. St. Kitts is the boisterous, outgoing, and fun one. Nevis is the quiet one that is easy to overlook, but she’s the genuine drawing card, the ace in the hole for anyone wishing to win the vacation game.
This is where to find luxury, breathtaking scenery, and adventure. Both promise seclusion away from civilization – visitors won’t find a single streetlight on Nevis. The islands do have a notable history. Alexander Hamilton was born on Nevis. On St. Kitts, visitors will find Brimstone Hill Fortress, one of the best fortification structures in all the Americas.
Both islands have raw beaches almost untouched by any human element. Especially stunning are the black sand beaches that can be found on both. Nothing ordinary here. Celebrities such as Anna Wintour and the former Princess Diana have enjoyed the islands’ seclusion for private vacations.
About St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis, officially named the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, are a part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea’s West Indies. These small islands, a mere two miles apart, a combined 104 square miles, were one of the first colonies to be settled in the Caribbean. These days, Basseterre is the capital for both.
Nevis’ primary feature is Nevis Peak, a 3,000-foot dormant volcano that dominates the island. It can be seen from everywhere. The mountain is steep and not really made for hiking. However, experienced climbers will enjoy a treat from the top. St. Kitts (named after Christopher Columbus). The British and the French both established early settlements and spend years vying for domination. As a matter of fact, it had two capitals. Old Road, a town west of Basseterre, was the British capital, while the French capital was Basseterre. The islands still exhibit the influence of both countries. The Treaty of Versailles brought the island under British rule in 1783. The British culture can be felt in the classic afternoon teas and the “proper” British behavior exhibited by the inhabitants.
The French capital of Basseterre was an important port for the Caribbean trade and was the primary center for all of France’s West Indies’ colonies. When the French were beaten by the British in 1727, Basseterre become the capital for both islands. Very little remains of the original city, which was destroyed by fire in 1867. The eviction of France also outlawed all Catholicism, but that was quickly overruled, and the first Catholic church was erected in 1856. Today, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is an important tourist attraction in Basseterre’s Independence Square.
The official language on Saint Kitts and Nevis is English with a whispered lilt of the West Indies. In proper British style, 98 percent of the islands are literate with a fluent command of the English language. While not officially accepted, 40,000 islanders speak St. Kitts Creole, a remnant of the African slaves working the sugar cane plantations in the 17th century. The Creole dialect is spoken primarily in rural areas.
The currency of St. Kitts and Nevis is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, but the U.S. is accepted and can be used anywhere.
What Is St. Kitts and Nevis Most Known For?
St. Kitts and Nevis visitors find there is plenty of adventure to be found.
One of the most fantastic ways to see the best of St. Kitts and Nevis is to take a catamaran cruise out of St. Kitts. They are invariably amazed at the incredible allure of these islands when seen in their entirety from a slight distance. Many cruises include a beach barbeque and a spot for water sports. A camera is essential to capture those Instagram moments.
Spend the day at Cockleshell Bay, one of St. Kitts’ most scenic beaches. Enjoy a drink at a beach bar and a seafood meal that was probably caught earlier in the day. Rent a beach chair and be amazed at the entrancing view of sister island Nevis.
Fairview Great House and Botanical Garden
Spend a day in the French past at Fairview Great House and Botanical Garden. It has overlooked the Caribbean for hundreds of years and is an excellent example of colonial architecture. Take a tour to learn about colonial history and stroll the garden for its sheer beauty. Join in a rum tasting and a genuine Caribbean meal at their restaurant. The chef also provides cooking lessons. Fried conch, anyone?
Brimstone Hill Fortress
Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts is a history lesson about the long-term friction between the colonial French and English forces. The Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts took the British a hundred years to complete with slave labor during the 17th and 18th centuries. The architecture is spectacular, and the view of sister-island Nevis and the surrounding greenery is breathtaking.
Stones were hand-carried 800 feet from the bottom up the hill. The fortress is a huge complex complete with barracks for officers and soldiers.
The Fort George Museum is within the Citadel, a separate building that still exhibits an abundance of British cannons facing the mountains. There are restored barrack rooms and ovens to keep the soldiers fed. On a clear day, the view from the Citadel will stretch almost forever.
Children enjoy being photographed with a cutout of a British solider in full uniform.
Kitts Railway Tour
The St. Kitts Railway Tour provides one of the best ways to see St. Kitts at its most magnificent. The railroad was built in the early 20th century to carry sugar from the plantations to Basseterre. These days, it lets riders cruise through the island in comfort for views of the ocean, cliffs, villages, Mt. Liamuiga volcano, and the greenery that make up St. Kitts.
Lounge in the parlor car while enjoying complimentary drinks as a guide describes the passing scenery. The complete ride around the island is 30 miles of wondrous sights.
Best Regions to Visit In St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis may be small, but they are divided into various one-of-a-kind beaches. St. Kitts has more visitors than Nevis, but Nevis offers more tranquility and seclusion that allows visitors to embrace this flawless bit of nature. St. Kitts and Nevis visitors should check out the black-sand beaches that have resulted from volcanic erosion.
South Friars Bay Beach on St. Kitts has sands with a darker hue as a consequence of volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room for all on this secluded beach with a view of the mountains. This beach offers superior snorkeling and is also a great family beach. The beach’s Carambola Beach Club rents loungers and umbrellas. There is also a bar with refreshments. South Friars Bay Beach is perfect for a day-long visit.
Cockleshell-Bay-Beach in St. Kitts is a good beach on its own; as a plus, this is where to get the water taxi to sister island Nevis. The clean sand and the turquoise water make Cockleshell-Bay-Beach a popular destination for swimming and snorkeling. There are plenty of eateries and bars here.
Pinney’s Beach on Nevis is secluded and private, but it does offer a selection of bars. It is situated within walking distance of the volcano, Nevis Peak. Visitors can easily go from the beach to the island’s highest peak.
Chrishi Beach Club is a comfortable beach hangout on Nevis. There are loungers on the beach. Inside the club, there is a comfortable lounge and a restaurant serving café-style food. There is a stripper pool, but it’s in good fun. It’s mostly the kids scurrying up and down. Saturday nights are livened up by a DJ or film showing.
Dieppe Bay on St. Kitts’ north side is a peaceful beach with black sand. It has stunning views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Ocean as they crash into each other. The sand here is black, as are several beaches on St. Kitts and Nevis. There is a cove for snorkeling and swimming. Very relaxing.
Arthur’s Restaurant offers beachfront dining consisting mostly of the delicious catch-of-the-day.
Pump Bay with its black sand is on the northwest part of St. Kitts and is a favorite with snorkelers and divers. It overlooks the Brimstone Hill Fortress.
Black Sand Cove is a secluded black sand beach on Nevis on the southern side of the island. Steps lead down to the narrow stretch of black sand. If desired, check out the nearby accommodations.
Best All-Inclusive Resort or Hotel in St. Kitts and Nevis
Sugar Bay Club
The Sugar Bay Club by Frigate Bay in St. Kitts faces the Atlantic Ocean. The suites have kitchenettes and private balconies with views of the ocean, garden, or the swimming pools. The lobby has a handy duty-free liquor store. Guests have the choice of five restaurants. When making reservations, ask about an all-inclusive meal program. Both the Rituals Coffee House and Rituals Sushi Restaurants have received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
The Sugar Bay Club has partnered with Kenneth’s Dive Center for the most exciting diving packages. It will also assist couples plan the ideal beach wedding of their dreams with a magnificent mountain view.
Best Resort or Hotel for Couples in St. Kitts and Nevis
Paradise Beach Nevis Luxury Villa Accommodations
Paradise Beach Nevis Luxury Villa Accommodations are exclusive private villas by Paradise Beach that provide the perfect romantic ambiance for couples. Breakfast and lunch can be enjoyed at the beach. Lunch and dinner are also served in the resort’s restaurant. Your kitchen will be stocked upon request. And, should you request it, our chef will prepare a special dinner for two at your villa.
Relax by the Beach Bar and enjoy a special concoction mixed just for you.
Indulge in all watersports or enjoy a good game of gulf.
Best Resort or Hotel for Families in St. Kitts and Nevis
Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour
The Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour has luxury oceanfront suites, some with sundecks and butler service. Luxury rules here, from the golden beach to the awe-inspiring mountain view. The hotel has an adult pool, where couples can enjoy a romantic dinner in their cabana or in one of the three restaurants. It also has a Lagoon pool for families. Snack and light meals are available poolside.
Enjoy relaxing treatments at the Sugar Mill Spa & Sanctuary, as well as meditation and yoga sessions to heal both body and soul.
When making reservations, ensure that the Camp Hyatt for Kids club is open. This is where kids from ages three to twelve can go for storytelling, playing outdoors, arts, and crafts.